Were You Arrested in Texas and Need Help? Check Out Our FAQs
A face-to-face meeting with Walter Reaves will help answer all of your questions, but until then, here are a few of the most frequently asked questions we hear.
- Page 1
How do you know whether you committed an assault, and if so how serious is it?
Assault in Texas is a unique offense because it encompasses charges that can be extremely minor, to conduct that causes serious bodily injury or even death.
Assault is defined in Section 22.01 of the Texas Penal Code. As with many offenses, it can be committed in several different ways. Those include:
- intentionally, knowingly or recklessly causing bodily injury to another, including one's spouse
- intentionally or knowingly threatening another with imminent bodily injury, including one's spouse
- or intentionally or knowingly causing physical contact with another when the person knows or should reasonably believe that the other will regard the contact as offensive or provocative
That basically means that you can commit an assault by either causing bodily injury to another or threatening imminent bodily injury to another. An offense committed in either of those two ways is a class A misdemeanor.
Since you commit an assault be either causing or threatening bodily injury, you have to know how bodily injury is defined; it's not the understanding of what most people have when they refer to bodily injury.
Bodily injury is defined in Section 1.07 of the Texas Penal Code as "physical pain, illness or any impairment of physical condition". So basically if you hit someone and they say it caused them pain, you have committed an assault. The State doesn't have to prove an actual physical injury - such as a bruise, cut, abrasion or broken bone. In fact, assaults can be proved without any actual physical evidence at all.
The last way to commit assault is surprising to most people. You commit an assault if you physically contact someone and you either know or should reasonably believe that the person will regard the contact as offensive or provocative. So if you grab someone in a club or in public, that could be an assault. This type of assault also includes contact where there was no "bodily injury". So if you get in an argument and shove someone out of the way, that could be an assault.
This last type of assault - offensive physical contact - is often referred to as a "Class C" assault. That's because it's a class C misdemeanor. You can't be sentenced to jail for such offenses, but you can be fined.
While assault is generally a misdemeanor, it can be raised to a felony in some situations. For more information on the difference between simple assault and aggravated assault, you can read this post.
If you have been charged with assault in Waco, Texas or the surrounding areas, and need an attorney, contact our office to schedule an appointment.
What is the difference between simple assault and aggravated assault in Texas?
When an individual is charged with a certain kind of assault, he may be confused as to what it actually all means. Were you charged with simple assault or aggravated assault, but you don't understand the difference between the two? Here are the basic differences:
The biggest difference is that simple assaults are classified as misdemeanors, while aggravated assaults are classified as felonies. Misdemeanors carry small fines and little to no jail time, while felonies may be punished with significant fines and lengthy prison sentences. A felony can also affect a person's life forever, as it can ruin his chances at jobs, voting, buying firearms, and even traveling outside of the country.
Simple assault encompasses minor injuries, touching, and threatening words or behavior. The alleged victim of the assault has to truly fear being hurt by the actions and words of the other person.
Aggravated assault involves serious injuries or the addition of weapons into the equation. Even if someone aimed a gun at another person with no intention of pulling the trigger, that could be considered aggravated assault.
The bottom line is that you don't want to be charged either with simple assault or with aggravated assault because neither one will have any kind of positive impact on your life. Texas takes assault cases very seriously, and you could face steep fines and jail time.
If you have been charged with assault in Texas and would like help from a criminal defense attorney, contact Waco assault defense lawyer Walter Reaves for a free consultation by calling 254-296-0020.